The study explores local experiences to find out practices that could lead to a school dynamics that is favourable to school results.
It was led in three phases:
• Collecting a series of markers or factors described in the literature as a driving force for efficiency.
• Identifying, based on the results of external evaluation in French (reading) and mathematics, schools with noticeably better results than other schools with the same socio-economical grade.
• Based on those two explorations, question the headmasters of the identified schools to explore how the factors identified in the literature are carried out.
The study shows that school failure is not unavoidable. There are solutions in concrete school practices to be found in the margins of freedom that headmasters allow themselves and considering the school as a place to live in.
This is the author’s conclusion: “those headmasters take a position of driving force, organiser, guarantee of the school project. With their team, they develop a trustful and voluntary ambition. They believe in their students’ abilities to progress, and in their own ability to change things. Professionalism is required, as well as support of students outside the class“.
The author highlights the benefit of fostering a functioning framework that enable headmasters to evolve from an essentially manager role to a role of pilot (or leader), able to mobilise resources and the school actors around objectives and projects, shared and adapted to the context of their school.
A synthesis of this study is proposed in an article of the magazine “Entrées Libres” no78, published by SeGEC: